Gigg Lane, the home of Bury FC
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Gigg Lane, the home of Bury Football Club
Gigg Lane has been Bury Football Club's only home since it was founded 115 years ago back in 1885. The pitch dimensions are 112 yards long x 73 yards wide. The ground has been extensively redeveloped in recent years. Beginning in 1993, all four sides of the ground have had new stands built, the final stage being the re-build of the Cemetry End.
A restaurant, police control box, new floodlights and two all-weather pitches on the former car-park have also been built. The Cemetery End, the final terracing at Gigg Lane, was demolished during the summer of 1999 and a new 2,500 capacity stand is now completed and resplendant. This final phase of the re-build has turned Gigg Lane into an all seater stadium.
Gigg Lane's first ever game took place on 12th September 1885 when Bury played a friendly match against Wigan and won 4-3. The first ever Football League game to be played at the ground was on 8th September 1894 when Bury entertained Manchester City in a Division Two game and won 4-2 in front of a crowd of 7,070.
The capacity of the ground currently stands at 11,840 - considerably less than the pre-war capacity of around 32,000. In the early 60's the capacity was increased to 35,000. The record crowd at Gigg Lane is 35,000 for an F.A. Cup third round tie against Bolton Wanderers on 9th January 1960. The game ended 1-1 and Bury lost the replay 4-2 aet. Officials at the club had raised the capacity for this game with extra crush barriers being installed in the Manchester Road end.
The record crowd for a Football League game is 34,386 for a Second Division fixture against Blackpool on New years Day 1937. Blackpool won 3-2. The lowest crowd for a competitive Bury first team game is 461 for a Freight Rover Trophy game against Tranmere Rovers on 26th February 1986. The lowest crowd for a Football League game is 1,096 against Northampton (Division Four) on 5th May 1984.
Preston North End used Gigg Lane as a 'home' venue for a Coca-cola Cup tie against Stockport in August 1994 whilst Rossendale United also used Gigg Lane for their 'home' F.A. Cup venue for a second round tie against Bolton Wanderers in December 1971. Also, more recently, non league and close neighbours, Radcliffe Borough, used the ground for a FA Cup First Round game against York City.
Floodlights were first installed at Gigg Lane in 1953 and were officially opened with a friendly match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 6th October 1953. It was a few more years before the football league allowed competitive games to be played under lights. The very first floodlit game at Gigg Lane actually took place way back on 5th November 1889 - when a crowd of 7,000 watched Bury lose 5-4 to Heywood Central in a friendly game which took place under "Wells Patent Lights".
Apart from football, over the years Gigg Lane has been used for rugby league, baseball, cricket, wrestling, American football, lacrosse, police athletics & sports meetings, Lancashire Fusiliers regimental parades and a Girl Guides convention.